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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Looking for ideas. I am building a role around kitchen cart for my wife. I got the plans from a copy of Woodworkers Journal magazine from October 12, 2012. Mine is slightly smaller than the original.

I want to build my own butcher block top and I would like to make it with a combination of light and dark wood. For the light wood I am thinking hard maple but I am at a loss as to what to use for the dark. This top will be about 22" x 30" or a bit smaller. Any suggestions?

Also what should I use for a finish? Keeping in mind that food will come in contact with this top. She will use is for making her home made bread among other things.

Thanks in advance for any help.

Charlie :smile:
 

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This software is excellent for planning an end grain cutting board to make various patterns. Very easy to use.

The software assumes you will make a slab and then cut the slab into strips and e.g, flip alternate strips.

http://www.lastalias.com/cbdesigner/

Hard maple is good for the light wood, not as light when oriented for end grain.

Dark woods can be walnut, purpleheart which is VERY dark with end grain, bloodwood, bubinga,

If you will be cutting on this, I would just use mineral oil. Easy to reapply, absorbs deep.

I use the General Finish, but any unscented mineral oil will work.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003233/1773/Butcher-Block-Oil-Pint-(saf).aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This software is excellent for planning an end grain cutting board to make various patterns. Very easy to use.

The software assumes you will make a slab and then cut the slab into strips and e.g, flip alternate strips.

http://www.lastalias.com/cbdesigner/

Hard maple is good for the light wood, not as light when oriented for end grain.

Dark woods can be walnut, purpleheart which is VERY dark with end grain, bloodwood, bubinga,

If you will be cutting on this, I would just use mineral oil. Easy to reapply, absorbs deep.

I use the General Finish, but any unscented mineral oil will work.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003233/1773/Butcher-Block-Oil-Pint-%28saf%29.aspx
Thanks. This is kind of what I had in mind http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2083205/33694/Cutting-Board-Kit---Milled.aspx#ProdInformationTab Not the checkerboard effect.
So wall nut will work ok with hard maple? Should all of the wood strips run the same direction grain wise? My experience with hard maple is it's fairly straight grain as opposed to some of the wall nut I have worked with has some pretty wild grain. How about red heart? Grain wise that is.
I have been pointed in the direction of Titebond lll for the glue. Is that acceptable or is there a better choice.
I am really a novice at this butcher block stuff. I have built many other things but not butcher block.
Charlie
 

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Thanks. This is kind of what I had in mind http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2083205/33694/Cutting-Board-Kit---Milled.aspx#ProdInformationTab Not the checkerboard effect.
So wall nut will work ok with hard maple? Should all of the wood strips run the same direction grain wise? My experience with hard maple is it's fairly straight grain as opposed to some of the wall nut I have worked with has some pretty wild grain. How about red heart? Grain wise that is.
I have been pointed in the direction of Titebond lll for the glue. Is that acceptable or is there a better choice.
I am really a novice at this butcher block stuff. I have built many other things but not butcher block.
Charlie
I thought you were going true butcher block with end grain.

You are going with a laminated slab so face or side grain. Easier to build and can look good. I have made many boards this way.

I have not used redheart, but this should work.

Wild grain is normally a specific location in the tree where e.g. a branch is crossing the tree.

I use Titebond III for my projects. It is the strongest of the Titebond glues. Long open time. It dries to a dark brown just so you know in case you have gaps.

When I make a laminated slab, I create sub-assemblies. I have not had good luck gluing too many strips together. They move, side-to-side or top-to-bottom.

Hence I like to glue two pieces at a time. I clamp together and each piece I clamp to my granite block to keep them level.

I then glue two sub-assemblies together. Same process.

This takes more time than a single glue-up but I prefer my results.

This is my most recent board. Hard maple and walnut.

You will want a rectangular top, showing this for inspiration if you want to add some visual interest.

Decorative_board_Diane_side_1845.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I thought you were going true butcher block with end grain.

You are going with a laminated slab so face or side grain. Easier to build and can look good. I have made many boards this way.

I have not used redheart, but this should work.

Wild grain is normally a specific location in the tree where e.g. a branch is crossing the tree.

I use Titebond III for my projects. It is the strongest of the Titebond glues. Long open time. It dries to a dark brown just so you know in case you have gaps.

When I make a laminated slab, I create sub-assemblies. I have not had good luck gluing too many strips together. They move, side-to-side or top-to-bottom.

Hence I like to glue two pieces at a time. I clamp together and each piece I clamp to my granite block to keep them level.

I then glue two sub-assemblies together. Same process.

This takes more time than a single glue-up but I prefer my results.

This is my most recent board. Hard maple and walnut.

You will want a rectangular top, showing this for inspiration if you want to add some visual interest.

View attachment 80866
Cool Dave. This is what I was looking for. I planned on doing sub groups anyway. My planer is onle 12" so I will probably have to make three sub groups. I use Tite Bond and have for some time. Great glue.

Loved your block. Nice design.

Charlie
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
More Butcher Block

I have decided to make my kitchen cart build top out of hard maple. Went and picked up a 8/4 piece of maple today. The guys at Woodcraft were telling me that for a little variety they quarter turn every third piece and also sometimes stick in a couple pieces of wall nut in 4/4. Anyone ever hear of doing this? If so what is the effect? I like the idea of a little variety but I don't want it to look hokey:no: either.
Your thoughts?

Charlie
 

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I like variety and contrasting woods.

The face grain on hard maple can be so plain, almost no grain to stand out.

Depending on the board the side grain can have more visually interesting grain, so I will orient for this to be the "face" side.

This is one example. The side grain of this hard maple board looked like it had curl figure, so I decided to orient this for the "face" of the board. I messed up the inlays and had to cut out part of the end. I then had to glue in a piece of hard maple from another board. This time with the face grain up.

The dark squares are end grain purpleheart. Red inlays are bloodwood.

Craftsman_board_top_oiled_web.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
I like variety and contrasting woods.

The face grain on hard maple can be so plain, almost no grain to stand out.

Depending on the board the side grain can have more visually interesting grain, so I will orient for this to be the "face" side.

This is one example. The side grain of this hard maple board looked like it had curl figure, so I decided to orient this for the "face" of the board. I messed up the inlays and had to cut out part of the end. I then had to glue in a piece of hard maple from another board. This time with the face grain up.

The dark squares are end grain purpleheart. Red inlays are bloodwood.

View attachment 81095
Very interesting. I was looking at the plank of hard maple that I got and noticed it seems to be very straight grain. By the way I saw a 8' plank of purple heart that was 8/4. That stuff is expensive.

Anyway, your suggestions are well taken. I have some walnut 4/4 so I think a couple of strip of that will break up the manotany a bit.

I also so a piece of curly maple. That would have been cool to probably.

Charllie
 

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Most of what has been discussed here is the strips running the entire distance/length. What if you were unable to do that and had to segment the boards like you do in hardwood floors. How do you laminate them together or is it the same no matter what?

This would be for face or edge tops not end grain.

photo of what I mean:
 

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Most of what has been discussed here is the strips running the entire distance/length. What if you were unable to do that and had to segment the boards like you do in hardwood floors. How do you laminate them together or is it the same no matter what?

This would be for face or edge tops not end grain.

photo of what I mean:
In the example you show, the pieces would be laminated together the same as if they ran the entire length.

You could do some finger joints of the end grain if you have the special router bit, but as long as the pieces have a good overlap side-to-side, I do not think the end grain joints would be needing.

I think commercial boards using short pieces to make longer laminated boards finger joint to help the assembly mass-production process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Most of what has been discussed here is the strips running the entire distance/length. What if you were unable to do that and had to segment the boards like you do in hardwood floors. How do you laminate them together or is it the same no matter what?

This would be for face or edge tops not end grain.

photo of what I mean:
Interesting concept. Because mine with be so short I don't think I would do it in this case. But I can see it as valid if, say for instance, I didn't have enough full length pieces but did have two shorter pieces. I would certainly consider it instead of buying more hard maple. Especially knowing how much the stuff costs.

Charlie
 

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The proper way to oil a Butcher block is to use Mineral oil and Liberally oil it initially the first time until it quits absorbing the oil and it pools on the surface. Wipe of the excess and then Oil it every day for a week. Then once a week for a month, once a month for life.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The proper way to oil a Butcher block is to use Mineral oil and Liberally oil it initially the first time until it quits absorbing the oil and it pools on the surface. Wipe of the excess and then Oil it every day for a week. Then once a week for a month, once a month for life.[/QUOT

Interesting. I had not quite got to that point yet but it's coming up soon. It would have been one of my next questions. :yes:

I assume the Mineral oil is food safe and compatible. One of the things my wife will use it for is making bread and roles.:thumbsup:

Charlie
 

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Interesting. I had not quite got to that point yet but it's coming up soon. It would have been one of my next questions. :yes:

I assume the Mineral oil is food safe and compatible. One of the things my wife will use it for is making bread and roles.:thumbsup:
Mineral oil and beeswax are the common food safe products which many people use on cutting boards.

I find mineral oil soaks in better than beeswax.

If you purchase mineral oil in a pharmacy, look for one which is fragrance free. May be cheaper than at woodwork store.

In Woodcraft this is sold as "Butcher Block Oil", but it is just mineral oil. I use this product.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003233/1773/Butcher-Block-Oil-Pint-(saf).aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Mineral oil and beeswax are the common food safe products which many people use on cutting boards.

I find mineral oil soaks in better than beeswax.

If you purchase mineral oil in a pharmacy, look for one which is fragrance free. May be cheaper than at woodwork store.

In Woodcraft this is sold as "Butcher Block Oil", but it is just mineral oil. I use this product.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003233/1773/Butcher-Block-Oil-Pint-(saf).aspx
I was shown this product when at the Woodcraft store. They highly recommend it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Mineral oil and beeswax are the common food safe products which many people use on cutting boards.

I find mineral oil soaks in better than beeswax.

If you purchase mineral oil in a pharmacy, look for one which is fragrance free. May be cheaper than at woodwork store.

In Woodcraft this is sold as "Butcher Block Oil", but it is just mineral oil. I use this product.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003233/1773/Butcher-Block-Oil-Pint-(saf).aspx
I will be picking up some of this stuff this morning. I was wondering if any of you folks seal the bottoms of butcher blocks? Mine will be permanently attached to a kitchen cart I am building for my wife. Any tips or suggestions on this bottom seal?
 

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I will be picking up some of this stuff this morning. I was wondering if any of you folks seal the bottoms of butcher blocks? Mine will be permanently attached to a kitchen cart I am building for my wife. Any tips or suggestions on this bottom seal?
I prefer to finish all sides of the wood. This is to prevent one side having different moisture content than the other.

Although this may be attached in a cart, if you get differential moisture across the board, something undesirable may happen - warping, cracking, etc.

If you will not have easy access to the underside, I would consider hard film finish like a polyurethane, boiled linseed oil, etc.

If you are going to Woodcraft, for a wipe on hard finish I like General Finish Salad Bowl Finish.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2000752/9151/General-Finishes-Salad-Bowl-Finish-Quart.aspx
 
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